Hurricane season has arrived so if you don’t have a safety plan or preparedness policy in place now is the time to develop one. Fewer than half of small businesses are prepared for a major disaster. Many admit their company does not have safety training or a business continuity plan.
In addition to protecting employees and the physical assets a plan to recover and maintain business continuity is critical. The technological property of your business includes all data backed up and accessible off-site if so you can keep the business running.
FEMA has excellent resources available to help you create a Preparedness Policy.
According to FEMA the following are good reasons to have a written Prepared Policy developed and implemented.
- Up to 40% of businesses affected by a natural or human-caused disaster never reopen. (Source: Insurance Information Institute)
- Customers expect delivery of products or services on time. If there is a significant delay, customers may go to a competitor.
- Insurance is only a partial solution. It does not cover all losses and it will not replace customers.
- Many disasters — natural or human-caused — may overwhelm the resources of even the largest public agencies. Or they may not be able to reach every facility in time.
- News travels fast and perceptions often differ from reality. Businesses need to reach out to customers and other stakeholders quickly.
Typical goals of a Preparedness Policy include:
- Protect the safety of employees, visitors, contractors and others at risk from hazards at the facility. Plan for persons with disabilities and functional needs.
- Maintain customer service by minimizing interruptions or disruptions of business operations
- Protect facilities, physical assets and electronic information
- Prevent environmental contamination
- Protect the organization’s brand, image and reputation